KVMR is an independent community radio station that broadcasts across a wide region of northern California with its terrestrial signal and around the world through www.kvmr.org and via the KVMR app. KVMR first went on the air on July 14, 1978, with equipment housed in makeshift facilities on nearby Banner Mountain. In 1981, KVMR rented space at the Miner's Foundry in Nevada City, increased power, and began broadcasting 24 hours a day. In 1994, KVMR moved to its current leased location. In February 2015, KVMR moved across the street to its new home, a building constructed in partnership with the Nevada Theatre Commission.
KVMR's unique and eclectic music programming - from Hawaiian music on Sunday mornings to bluegrass on Saturdays - and live remote broadcasts of events and festivals attracts local, regional, national and international audiences. Many national and international artists consider the KVMR community first when considering an appearance in our region. KVMR also serves a vital role in the community by promoting and highlighting the work of dozens of local and regional non-profit groups and organizations. KVMR has a paid staff of ten and a few part-time independent contractors, but the station operates mostly through the generous assistance of more than 700 volunteers, including more than 150 volunteer broadcasters. The station is supported primarily through membership donations, business underwriting, and an annual Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant.
The KVMR community reaches far beyond its Nevada City home. KVMR serves Nevada and Placer County listeners on 89.5 FM, the Truckee/Tahoe area on 105.1 FM, western Sacramento and Yolo County from Woodland on 93.9FM, and Placerville, in Angels Camp on 99.5FM and parts of El Dorado County on 88.3 FM. KVMR is also available at www.kvmr.org, streaming 24 hours a day, and recently added an online stream, kvmrx.org, offering an emerging, organic, millennial/gen x audience. KVMR is also accessible on Apps designed for both the iPhone and Android. KVMR's unduplicated weekly audience is 40,000 listeners, two-thirds of whom live outside Nevada County. As KVMR is the only local radio station broadcasting live around the clock, it is the official Emergency Broadcast Station for Nevada County. With backup generator power, KVMR regularly provides its audience with updates from local agencies and utility companies during emergencies and inclement weather. The station hosts listener call-ins during these events, and broadcasts important information like community shelter locations during fires, cooling facilities during heat waves, and warming sites during winter power outages.
In September 2018, KVMR launched a new FM frequency in Western Nevada County - 105.7FM The Bridge. While volunteer-driven KVMR 89.5 continues to offer the same eclectic mix of music, news and information, this new radio station airs an engaging combination of locally, regionally and nationally produced news, ideas and cultural daytime programming plus music hosted by younger generations evenings and weekends.